How to Keep Your Cat Indoors and Happy
Reading the article Should You Let Your Cat Go Outside?, we know indoor cats’ life expectancy is much higher than cats allowed to go outside.
If your cat is used to going outdoors, it might seem impossible to get him used to a life behind the windows. But with some cat training and adjustments, you can turn your fearless explorer into an indoor cat. These following tips will help your feline friend make the transition.
1. Start in Winter
Winter is a good for you to make your outdoor cat an indoor cat. Cats don’t enjoy being outdoors in winter, especially when the weather is miserable and getting colder and colder. By keeping your cat in all winter, he may be fully adapted to an inside life by the time the days start getting warmer.
2. Take It Slowly
Even your kitty is a hardcore outdoor cat, he can learn to live happily indoors. Just be patient and take it slow. Try to take your time getting your kitty used to being indoors. Each time he comes inside, keep him indoors for a longer time. He will gradually get adapted.
3. Keep the Door Closed!
Make sure that everyone in your home knows not to let the cat out. Make sure your family members (especially when you have kids) know to close the door tightly behind them. If your cat lunges for the exit every time the door opens, you can cure that behavior by tossing a treat or toy away from the door before you open it to let yourself out.
4. Make A Cat “TV”
For many cats, observing wildlife is almost as much fun as catching and killing it. If you observe, you will find that your kitty goes to the window every time he hears a dog barking or a birdsong outside. Windows make the best TV to all cats.
You can provide your cats with viewpoints from which they can easily observe the outside world. Install a hanging bird feeder outside and windowsill perches inside. And make sure your screens are secure. You definitely don’t want your cat to fall or jump out.
5. Engage with Your Cat
One of the great benefits to letting your cat roam free is the reality that he will find his own amusement. When you keep a cat indoors, he will get bored and want to play. Make sure your cat has lots of toys and fun activities like puzzle boxes or rolling treat balls to keep him active and fit. Cat toys, lasers (being careful to avoid the eyes), and human/cat games can be a lot of fun.
6. Expand Your Cat’s Territory Vertically
Adding cat trees and shelves will make your cat feel like he has more space and give him more tools to stay fit. It will also satisfy his urge to look down upon his domain from a high place. You can buy cat trees online, or DIY one for your little furry baby as there’s lots of information about building cat furniture online.
7. DIY A “Catio” in Your Balcony
If possible, you can even create an outdoor environment - buy or DIY a “catio” so that your little furry friend can enjoy the outdoor freedom from the safety of your balcony or deck.
It's also important to set limits to your cats' indoor range when creating kitty fun zones. An easy way to keep your cat out of your bed, off the counter, or out of the trash is to latch doors between your pet and temptation.
Some pet owners may think it is tough to limit your beloved pet's activities, but safety (for your cat and local wildlife alike) must come first.